Saturday, February 23, 2013


I have been feeling super guilty for neglecting to update this blog for so long, so I'm gonna be honest with y'all here and tell you straight up what the deal is with my thesis. I want to preface this by saying that I've been pretty tight lipped for a number of reasons regarding my thesis, but I think it's time now to just be up front.

First of all, yes, I am still working on my thesis, and it is still dealing with the history of the chemise a la reine. Yes, I still do intend to publish my research. So that's all great. However...

Things have been really complicated for me with regards to my thesis committee. I'm not pleased with the administration right now, because after four years, I should have been long graduated from this program, and yet... Here I am. Rest assured I have been working with the administration on an exit strategy, but one road block after another has come up in a seemingly endless supply. The most recent is my thesis chair is apparently abdicating from the position, leaving me without someone to take administrative responsibility for my thesis. This is complicated by the fact that there are currently no full time faculty members in my department who specialize in the 18th century. When I began this journey into 18th century art history, there was a single professor in the department, who absolutely refused to work with me and then quit to go back to school for another degree. The department encouraged me, nonetheless, to pursue the 18th century and assured me that something would work out. Another 18th c.-focused professor was hired a year later, but no position was available for her on a continuing basis, so she too left (or really, was left by the department). Again, I was reassured that things would work out and I should just keep focusing on my research.

Now, two years after I announced my intention to write my thesis on the topic of the chemise a la reine, I am without a committee... AGAIN. I am pretty certain I am the orphan grad student in the program who no one wants to take responsibility for.  Well, except for Dr. J and Dr. R who have both thrown themselves into getting me the hell out of this program with a degree, but who for one reason or another, cannot be my thesis chair. So, without the thesis chair position filled, I am, well, fucked. It's making me wish I had stuck with 16th c. English portraiture like I originally thought I was going to write my thesis on when I started grad school, lo those many years ago. Or writing it on 21st century corporate art. Because no one at San Jose State loves the eighteenth century as much as I do, and I'm in way too far with my research now to start over, and fuck it. I want to write this thesis and to hell with everything.

Sorry for all the f-bombs. I'm fed up with my program (everything I've written above is only the tip of the iceberg and only told in the most general terms... There's just so much more insanity to the story beyond this, that I can't even), and it has made me so apathetic about my research that I can barely bring myself to work on this thing I'm calling my thesis but who the hell knows if that's what it actually is. In fact, I'm posting on this blog right now rather than open up the research folder and work on it, because there's a part of me that has been kicked back so many times that I don't know what I'm doing any more.

Apathy, I haz it. Also, anger and frustration. In spades. So, if that's why I smile through gritted teeth and tell you that I don't want to talk about it when you ask how grad school is going, you know now. And at any rate, if you did somehow get me to talk about it, it just be a string of incoherent profanity spewing forth, so it's not like there's much to tell. The research itself, however, is something I love deeply and want to share with everyone. I need to focus on that. So, I beg your patience while I figure out how to reclaim my passion.